There were a few places we visited in Southern Queensland Country that didn't have any telephone service, so I'm certain the good folk of the region will understand that technical difficulties prevented me from bringing this post to you last Monday.
This is the second post of three posts I'm bringing you about my time exploring the Southern Downs as a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism & Tourism Queensland. Last week's instalment was three fab places to stay in Southern Queensland Country. This week's topic is even closer to my heart (and my expanded waistline) - three great spots to eat.
These three providers all have two things in common - they're enthusiastic producers offering unique fare and they were very understanding of their guests' need to snap every morsel before it was consumed.
If you're in the vicinity of Thulimbah, ten minutes north of Stanthorpe a stop at the Jersey Girls Cafe to re-live your childhood with a milkshake is a must. You've heard of paddock to plate? Karen and Rosco produce farmhouse cheeses onsite using milk from their jersey herd - pasture to platter if you will. The love they have for their herd is a joy to behold.
Stanthorpe Cheese and Jersey Girls Cafe, open daily, 10am - 4pm.
The story behind Matt and Bobbi Wells taking over The Barrel Room is one of those meant-to-be yarns. They visited Ballandean Wines in 2010 and within six months they'd relocated to Ballandean and opened The Barrel Room, a room bordered one side by eight 4500 litre barrels. There's an exciting feel about the menu, when we visited I struggled to choose and feared I'd suffer order-envy when our meals arrived. While my fellow diners meals looked fab, I was thrilled with my marrow bone appetiser and beef carpaccio (Matt butchers his own meat and uses a special cut of his own invention). Their special events list - offering something out of the ordinary each month - reads like a list of my favourite things: in November Matt and Bobbi will put an Italian spin on Yum Cha - clear the calendar!
The Barrel Room is open for lunch Wednesday - Monday and dinner Thursday to Sunday.
David and Ros Sutton started farming apples in 1994. Twenty years on, it's clear the secret of their success is enthusiasm and inventiveness. While you can still pick your own at Suttons, it's likely the cider and pie is what draws the majority of visitors. At the farm cafe you can sample Ros' famous apple pie and David's apple syrup. The apple syrup is a surprise and delight - David maintains the apple-y flavour by reducing eighty litres of apple juice to just seven litres of syrup over a period of six days. Word has got around about the Sutton's cooking and Bev now produces forty pies per week.
Sutton's Apple Farm is open seven days, 9.30am - 4.30pm.
So there it is, my three favourite meals from our trip away - all a joy, the providores as much as the produce. Those of you who follow me on social media will have seen that I did my fair share of food photography, when I took a snap of everything I ate in a single day on the Southern Downs.